Spooky Spokeo

Spokeo184 Over the course of the weekend, a Big Brother Watch supporter wrote bringing news of the new American website Spokeo.

Spokeo, which markets itself as "not your grandma's phonebook" draws together your contact details (including your phone number, e-mail and postal address), information about your personal wealth, your spouse and any social networks you might be a member of. In compiling the data, the website searches databases including "phone books, marketing surveys, business databases, ecommerce stores, and other public databases".

Our supported wrote:

"I entered my name and saw all this personal information: photos, my wife's name, and the scariest part–a photo of my house from Google Street View! This is certainly unsettling"

In light of this, I decided to investigate the profile details of my good friends Strusky and Kristi (for or the purposes of this blogpost, real names have not been used!).

After typing in their names and clicking on the search result for the town in which they live, I was able to find out detailed personal information about them that I had only learned of after staying with them in their home.

Spokeo was able to tell me that they lived in a single house built in 2004, the estimated value of their home, the fact they have children and both of their star signs. Further to this, I could also find out that they own an RV (a camper van), have cats, are collectors and enjoy travelling. Alongside all this information was a photograph of the isolated plot of land their home is located on – a clear gift to any burglar looking to research access routes to and from a home in order to steal the aforementioned collectables and vehicles. Upon payment of a further fee, I could have accessed information about their personal wealth level, political affiliations and religion.

This website is currently only operative in the United States, yet it has plans to extend overseas.

If you are in the United States and would like to have your profile removed from this website, please click here.

Hat tip: PC

By Daniel Hamilton

Posted by on Nov 15, 2010 in Online privacy, Privacy | 4 Comments